The codicology of Tibetan books, which looks at each manuscript as a physical entity, is a recently emerging field of study where we think our project belongs. Thus, in general, the study we undertake of the Mardzong manuscripts concerns the relationship of papers, inks, page layout, and book forms to questions of provenance, origin, and dating. To some extent, our work also treats book illumination and decoration.
We aim to study the Mardzong manuscripts by building independent typologies and chronologies that can be referenced by other manuscript studies using broader criteria. Our project’s broader impact would be to change, by example, the way manuscript studies are currently conducted within the framework of linguistically-oriented disciplines. Obtaining dates for the selected manuscripts from this cache is crucial to locate these books within both the local history of the Mustang region and also within the broader perspective of manuscript studies in Central Asia and the Himalayas. Both typology and dating of the books will create solid parameters for comparative research on the history and geography of book craftsmanship, and will also provide information on the production of books in Mustang in a temporal perspective.